Utah forecast: Warm, and then comes the storm
Ma Nature is such a tease. Utah's forecast first calls for warm, breezy caresses then come the stronger winds, rain and even some snow as the week nears its end.
A Pacific storm system was expected to roll over the Wasatch Front late Wednesday and early Thursday, turning several days of spring-like weather into a wet, gusty mess. The storm was forecast to spread its embrace to southern Utah on Friday.
Indeed, the National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory for northern Utah from Logan running south to Salt Lake City beginning Wednesday night. Valley rainfall and mountain snows of 1-3 inches were expected, driven by gusts of up to 25 mph.
Northern Utah's high temperatures, forecast for the upper-50s on Wednesday, were to dip 5-10 degrees on Thursday.
Winds also were predicted to build in southern Utah heading toward the latter part of the week. Daytime highs on Wednesday, pegged in the low-70s, were forecast to slip into the 60s on Thursday and the potential for rain was to steadily grow late Thursday and Friday. Winds of 10-20 mph were also predicted.
That new precipitation kept the risk for dangerous snow slides elevated in the state's mountains. Looking to Thursday, the Utah Avalanche Center rated the Uintas and Logan area backcountry slopes at "considerable" risk for avalanches, while the remainder of the state's mountains earned "moderate" risk grades.
However, storm activity always helps clear the polluted air along the state's urban valleys. The Utah Division of Air Quality issued "Green," or healthy air quality grades for the entire state Thursday and Friday.
Salt Lake City's high temperature Thursday was to hit 48, down from Wednesday's forecast for 55 degrees; Ogden looked for 44 and 49 degrees, respectively; Logan 37 and 42; Provo 51 and 56; Wendover 40 and 46; Duchesne 45s; Cedar City 53 and 59; St. George 67 and 72; and Moab 60 both days.